Laguna Beach Art Festival

Being a renowned event that honors the great artists of generations past and showcases modern, local artists, the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters is worthy of a facade evocative of the great works created by those the event honors. However, the arched gateway that has greeted thousands of visitors to the grounds of the festival for the last 17 years is made of only plywood and foam, leaving much to be desired in the way of style and craftsmanship.

Recently the Festival of the Arts board took measures to update the entryway to the festival grounds, and the impending result is one that home owners and festival goers are eagerly anticipating. The new $3 million gateway will feature prominently in the aesthetic of Laguna Beach. It will be made of recycled materials such as copper and zinc and will feature elements of design that are not only evocative of the exquisite home of the festival, but the art and artists that the event celebrates.

The firm behind the design, which has already been recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ Orange County Chapter, is Newport Beach-based Bauer Architects.

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“We’re helping the festival and, I’d say, Laguna Beach, reimagine this place — really bring it back to a place where it reflects the quality of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters,” said Jay Bauer, founder of Bauer Architects, to the Los Angeles Times. “It really says Laguna Beach in a way that the current facade doesn’t.”

The old facade was ceremoniously torn down on October 21, with each member of the board and Mayor Elizabeth Pearson stepping up to take a whack at the crumbling facade with a sledgehammer. The new entrance, which will feature metal cutouts of trees as well as banners that will reflect the pageants various themes, will be completed in time for Summer 2015’s festivities.

About the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

The longevity of the festival’s facade crafted out of such modest materials is perhaps a testament to the longevity and relevance of an event that is close to the heart of the community of Laguna Beach. Dating back to 1941, when the first Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters took place, the community has long since banned together to honor the many visionaries that have flocked to Laguna Beach to be inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the region.

The festival typically runs from July to August and features an art show, entertainment and art workshops. The crown jewel of the festivities is the Pageant of the Masters, one of the world’s most unique performances. The pageant is a 90-minute stage show featuring painstaking recreations of classic and contemporary works of art using actors and elaborate sets. This tableau vivant is truly a unique sight to see, and brings masterful works housed all over the world right to the backyard of Laguna Beach home owners.

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